The Pipeline Is Not the Problem: A Case–Control Study of Immigrants’ Political Underrepresentation

73 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2019

See all articles by Rafaela M. Dancygier

Rafaela M. Dancygier

Princeton University - Department of Political Science; Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

Karl-Oskar Lindgren

Uppsala University

Pär Nyman

Uppsala University - Department of Government

Kåre Vernby

Stockholm University - Department of Political Science; Uppsala University

Date Written: June 25, 2019

Abstract

Immigrants are underrepresented in most democratic parliaments. To explain the immigrant--native representation gap existing research emphasizes party gatekeepers and structural conditions. But a more complete account must consider the possibility that the representation gap already begins at the supply stage. Are immigrants simply less interested in elected office? To test this explanation, we carried out an innovative case--control survey in Sweden. We surveyed elected politicians, candidates for local office, and residents who have not run, stratified these samples by immigrant status, and linked all respondents to local political opportunity structures. We find that differences in political ambition, interest, and efficacy do not help explain immigrants’ underrepresentation. Instead, the major hurdles lie in securing a candidate nomination and being placed on an electable list position. We conclude that there is a pipeline of potential immigrant candidates, but immigrants' ambition is thwarted by political elites.

Keywords: Immigration,Representation, Discrimination, Political Parties

JEL Classification: J15

Suggested Citation

Dancygier, Rafaela M. and Lindgren, Karl-Oskar and Nyman, Pär and Vernby, Kåre, The Pipeline Is Not the Problem: A Case–Control Study of Immigrants’ Political Underrepresentation (June 25, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3410939 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3410939

Rafaela M. Dancygier (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Princeton, NJ 08544-1013
United States
609-258-4807 (Phone)

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

Karl-Oskar Lindgren

Uppsala University ( email )

Pär Nyman

Uppsala University - Department of Government ( email )

Scheelevägen 15 D
SE-223 70
Lund
Sweden

Kåre Vernby

Stockholm University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Stockholm, 106 91
Sweden

Uppsala University ( email )

Box 513
Uppsala, 751 20
Sweden

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